Are you trying to figure out how to get from Keflavik to Reykjavik? Whether you have a long layover in Iceland or are planning a 10-day long road trip around the Ring Road, your trip will start at Keflavik International Airport. And, if you’re like me and are considering choosing Reykjavik as your starting point, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is figuring out how to get from Keflavík Airport to Reykjavik City Center. If you’re not sure how you plan to get around Iceland, keep reading to figure out which option is the best for you!
- Keflavik to Reykjavik Drive
- How to Get from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik
- Car Rental from Keflavik Airport – My Recommendation!
- Bus from Keflavik to Reykjavik
- Keflavik Private Airport Transfer to Reykjavik
- Taxi From Kef to Reykjavik
- Keflavik Airport to Blue Lagoon to Reykjavík
- Frequently Asked Questions
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Keflavik to Reykjavik Drive
The distance between Keflavik and Reykjavik is 51 kilometers and takes approximately 45 minutes without stops. As you can see, Reykjavik isn’t close to the airport and that’s why taxi prices (and other private transfer options) can run upwards of $250.
How to Get from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik
Here’s a quick overview of the main transportation options that will take you from Keflavik to Reykjavik: car rental, bus, and private transfers.
- By Car Rental – the best way to get to Reykjavik and anywhere else in the country. If you’re planning to rent a car, rent near the airport and save on transportation costs to Reykjavik.
- By Bus – both the public bus (Bus 55) and private bus options are the most economical if you’re not planning on driving.
- By Private Transfer – taxis and other private transfer options will be the most expensive (albeit most convenient) way to get from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik, ranging anywhere between $100-200.
Car Rental from Keflavik Airport – My Recommendation!
If you plan on venturing outside of Reykjavik, you should strongly consider traveling around the Ring Road and strongly consider renting a car to do so. It’s the best way to get from Keflavik to Reykjavik as you’ll be able to explore more of the country at your own pace.
💸 Total Rental Car Expenses: $921.19 per person ($83.74/day)
Why You Should Consider Renting a Car in Iceland
🧭 Explore at your own pace and off-the-beaten-path: The #1 reason to consider renting a car in Iceland is that it gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace. You can create your own itinerary and visit off-the-grid areas that are hard to get to by public transportation or not covered by tour companies (like the Westfjords!).
🚘 Drive Iceland’s scenic routes: Iceland is known for its breathtaking landscapes and a car allows you to enjoy the stunning scenery along the country’s famous routes, both on and off the Ring Road (such as the drive from Hofn to Seydisfjordur).
⏰ Maximize your time by doing more in a day: Not only does renting a car make getting around Iceland super convenient, you don’t have to rely on public transportation schedules or limit your day to 1-2 tours that often start in the morning and end mid-afternoon. This is especially true if you visit Iceland during the summer months, where you can use the midnight sun to your advantage and visit places at 11 PM for fewer crowds.
⚠️ Adapt to weather conditions: Icelandic weather can be unpredictable and having a rental car allows you to change your plans depending on the forecast. For example, we chose to head straight to Studlagil Canyon before driving to the Diamond Circle instead of stopping at Borgarfjörður Eystri because it was expected to rain. This allowed us to avoid the rain when hiking to the canyon and see the gorgeous turquoise waters that Studlagil is known for before it turned all brown and muddy from the rain.
⭐ Best Car Rental in Iceland: If you’re planning a Ring Road road trip, the best way to get from Keflavik to Reykjavik is by renting a car at Keflavik Airport. I highly recommend Blue Car Rental, a local business that is conveniently located near the airport, provides great customer service, and transparent prices for peace of mind.
Bus from Keflavik to Reykjavik
Whether you’re picking up your car rental from Reykajvik or looking for a more cost-effective option to travel around Iceland, there are a number of bus options that will take you from the airport to the capital city.
Here’s an overview of the most popular bus transfers from Kefalvik to Reykjavik. Note, there is one public bus service and several private bus transfers:
Price per person
Varies between 6:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Pay at Station
Outside terminal (left of exit)
(can add option for hotel drop-off for ~ 800 ISK)
Airport Direct Economy
Meets in Airport Arrivals
Airport Direct Premium
Meets in Airport Arrivals
Door to Door Service
Note: All private bus options provide direct transfers to Reykjavik, come with free WiFi, provide free cancellation up to 24 hours before departure, and a hotel drop-off option. Do know that hotel drop-off means drop-off at the nearest bus stop near your hotel. Only door to door service means that you will get dropped off directly at your accommodation.
⭐ Bus Recommendation: The best bus transfer option is the Flybus+. Flybus is a budget-friendly private bus option that offers flexible tickets and has the most frequent schedule, with buses coming every half-hour. They also have the most reviews of seat guarantees when your flight is delayed because Flybus actively monitors flight schedules to adjust pickup as needed. And for just $10 more, you can get a hotel drop-off in Reykjavik instead of having to figure out how to get from the BSI Bus Terminal to your hotel.
Things to Consider if You Take Bus 55
In case you’re on the fence and are considering taking Bus 55, here are a few things to keep in mind that may sway your decision:
🚶You need to walk to the bus stop: The bus stop is located outside and about a 10-minute walk from the airport terminal. Keep this in mind if you have a lot of luggage or if you’re traveling in the winter.
🚏There aren’t clear signs: It’s not super clear upon exiting the terminal how and where to get to the public bus stop so I recommend downloading Maps ahead of time.
🥇 The bus is first-come, first-serve:You can’t pay or book a set in advance.
🛑 The bus makes multiple stops en route to Reykjavik. Therefore, the trip will take almost twice as long as going by car rental or private transfer. It also means that buses may show up slightly earlier or later than scheduled.
Keflavik Private Airport Transfer to Reykjavik
Private airport transfers to Reykjavik are the best option if you’re looking for the most convenient option, traveling in a large group, pressed for time, or peace of mind. With a private car, your driver will meet you in the Arrivals area so you don’t have to worry about finding the meeting point or not having a guaranteed seat in case of any delays. Additionally, when you book a private transfer, you can lock in the price for the car.
⭐ Private Transfer Recommendation: Private Hire Iceland has the best reviews when compared to other private airport transfers companies. Just make sure to double check your flight number to avoid any pick-up snafus.
Taxi From Kef to Reykjavik
Similar to private cars, taxis offer the most convenient and flexible mode of transportation but it comes at a hefty price. The price range for taxis is quite large, and I’ve read stories from people who spent anywhere from $100 to $250. This isn’t because taxi drivers in Iceland are trying to swindle you but rather a byproduct of the time of day you arrive, the season you’re traveling in, type of vehicle, and the availability of taxis (the laws of supply and demand heavily apply here). Currently, there are no Ubers or Lyfts available in Iceland so your only choices are the yellow taxi cabs that you’ll find queuing outside the airport.
💡 Note: I do not recommend going to Reykjavik by taxi unless you have literally exhausted all other options. Not only is it the most expensive option but you can get all of the conveniences of a taxi by booking a private car without the uncertainty of how much it’ll cost.
How to Pick the Best Way to Get From Keflavik Airport to Reykavjik
If you’re trying to figure out what’s the best way to get to Reykjavik upon arrival, here are a few things to consider:
- If you’re planning on self-driving the Ring Road for any portion of your trip, rent a car.
- If you’re looking for the cheapest option, take Bus 55. Make sure to check the bus schedule to ensure it’ll run when you need it to.
- If your hotel is near the BSI Bus Terminal in Reykjavik, consider the Flyline.
- Both the Gray Line and the Airport Direct Economy will drop you off at the Reykjavik Terminal. Note that while Gray Line is more expensive, they have better reviews of guaranteeing seats in case your flight is delayed.
- If you want to avoid being surrounded by lots of people on the bus, consider the Airport Direct Premium option which will take you to your destination via minibus.
- If you’re traveling in a group, it’ll be cheaper to book a private car instead of individual tickets.
💡Note: Every option besides renting your own car has individual luggage restriction policies. This shouldn’t be a problem for most people who are bringing a personal item and a suitcase but do keep this in mind if you plan on traveling with lots of bags.
Keflavik Airport to Blue Lagoon to Reykjavík
Because the Blue Lagoon is located only 20 minutes from the airport, it’s worth considering a visit upon arrival. While the easiest way to visit Blue Lagoon as a pit stop on your way to Reykjavik is by renting a car, the best and most economical way to get from Keflavik Airport to Blue Lagoon to Reykjavik is via the Blue Lagoon Shuttle Bus (also known as Destination Blue Lagoon).
Destination Blue Lagoon is a transportation service facilitated by the Blue Lagoon that runs every hour and will pick you up from the airport, get you to Blue Lagoon, and then drop you off at a Reykjavik Terminal. The cost of the shuttle is $56 and you can purchase your Destination Blue Lagoon transportation as an add-on to whatever Blue Lagoon package you end up booking (click here for Blue Lagoon tips based on my experience).
💡 TIP: While you’ll come across a number of Keflavik to Blue Lagoon Tours, I’ve noticed that (1) the cost of the Blue Lagoon ticket is often not included, (2) transportation is usually from Reykjavik or round-trip from Keflavik, or (3) more expensive than booking through Blue Lagoon directly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Keflavik is located 51 kilometers (32 miles) southwest of Reykjavik, with the drive typically taking around 40-45 minutes by car.
The best way to get from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik depends on factors like budget, time, convenience, and desired level of independence. Shuttle buses like FlyBus offer direct transfers with reasonable fares, while car rentals through a business like Blue Car Rental provide flexibility and the ability to explore beyond Reykjavik. If cost is a significant factor, public buses are a more affordable alternative, though they may have limited frequency.
The cheapest way to get from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik is by taking the public bus. Bus Route 55 (Strætó) operates between the airport and Reykjavik, with stops in several neighborhoods. The cost of a single bus ticket is usually lower compared to other transportation options. However, the bus has limited hours and takes almost twice as long due to multiple stops along the way.
The public bus (Bus 55) costs approximately $15 one-way while private bus service providers range anywhere from $28-40 depending on the service provider and any add-ons you purchase such as hotel drop-off.
Taxis are incredibly expensive in Iceland, ranging anywhere from $100 to $250 USD depending on when you arrive, the season you’re traveling, and the type of vehicle available.
The cost of private airport transfers from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik can vary depending on the service provider, number of passengers, vehicle requirements, and transportation needs. Private Hire Iceland is a highly regarded local company that provides private transfer services, but you can also book private transfers through bus shuttle services like Airport Direct. Make sure to compare prices and services from different providers to find the most affordable transfer option.
Final Thoughts on How to Get to Reykjavik from Keflavik Airport
And there you have it, your guide to getting from Keflavík International Airport to Reykjavik! While my personal recommendation is to rent your own car, especially for those seeking flexibility, there are plenty of other options to consider.
If you’re looking for a hassle-free and affordable choice, airport bus services are a great way to go. With multiple bus stops and departure times, you can easily catch a ride to the city centre or near your accommodation. The public bus 55 is your cheapest option at $15 per person. You can also book a private Reykjavik airport transfer for an even more convenient and personalized experience, especially if you’re traveling in a small group.
And if all else fails, the taxi services just outside the arrivals hall are there if your flight arrival time is outside the bus schedules or there’s no availability.
However you choose to travel, book your options ahead of time so you can focus on exploring the land of fire and ice immediately upon arrival. Happy travels!